Obituary of Elizabeth Smith
Elizabeth Joan Smith, known affectionately as Betsy, died unexpectedly in Montclair on Wednesday, October 18, 2023, at the age of 46 years. She is survived by her beloved mother Joan; her loving siblings Kitty (Bud), Todd (Doris), Steve (Kathy), Pete (Lisa) and Bridget; eight loving nephews Reilly (Shawna), Chris (Becca), Bryan (Kristen), Ryan (Liz), Connor (Ally), Matthew (Madeline), Stefan (Nikki) and Owen; a loving niece, Natalie; and a large loving group of aunts, uncles, cousins, extended family and friends throughout the country. She was a beloved great-aunt to Levon, Norah, Will, Harlow, Jolene, Caroline and Kennedy; and cat-mom to sweet Rihanna. Betsy has joined her father, Murray in Heaven, who passed away November 3, 2007.
Betsy was the fabric of the Montclair community. She was a dependable employee of the Montclair YMCA for more than twenty-five years, where her smiling face was the first to greet members upon entering the facility. Also, Betsy was an entrepreneur, and sold her handmade greeting cards at The General Store at Cornerstone in Upper Montclair. She was an activist for inclusion for her entire life, having been a self-advocate for people with Down syndrome. She served on multiple boards, including the New Jersey Coalition for Inclusive Education (NJCIE) and the Yogi Berra Museum. She spoke throughout the country, including at the United States Congress in support for inclusive education. Betsy and her mother, Joan, were founding members of NJCIE, and enriched the lives of countless families.
Betsy brought enormous amounts of joy to her family. Her E.Q. was astounding. She loved to dance, listen to music, go shopping, and spend time with her family. Each morning she would start the day watching GMA on television, which informed her world view in conversations with family, friends and colleagues. Betsy will be remembered for her warm hugs, funny sayings and ever-positive attitude. May we all live our lives as Betsy did: to always be courageous and kind.
Donations can be made to the NJCIE.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Elizabeth Smith, please visit Tribute Store